Ethics, Poaching and Competitive Intelligence

I’m a little surprised that anyone would have a problem with John Sullivan’s stand on aggressive recruiting tactics. In my opinion, once you’ve made the decision to poach another company’s employees, you’ve already crossed the line. Other than misleading a candidate about the merits of the job, everything else a recruiter does to find and recruit top people in my opinion is fair game. If you’re targeting a candidate who has not first expressed an interest in working for your company, you are poaching. This is what recruiters do. It’s why corporations decided to develop in-house recruiting departments and to compete head-to-head with third-party search firms. So if you’re not poaching candidates, you’re not recruiting. And if you are recruiting, then you’re already stained, so to speak. If your company uses third-party recruiters, then your company is implicitly accepting the practice of poaching and ruses. I don’t know any good third-party recruiters who don’t do this. Once you’ve decided to poach, who really cares how you got the person’s name? This is a subset of poaching. You are already an accessory, so don’t try to self-righteously stand above the fray. How come no one is outraged that Fortune 500 companies are stealing other companies’ recruiters at ERE’s conferences or software developers at the .net users conference in Santa Clara? Of course, if you call it networking, then it’s apparently okay. This seems like nothing more than word-smithing to me. How come some sanctimonious people aren’t suggesting that the FCC should bar people from using the telephone because they are leaving misleading and ambiguous phone messages to try to get people to call them back to consider another career opportunity? How come people aren’t complaining about recruiters or hiring managers who walk into competitors’ stores, restaurants, or branch offices to poach? These are all ruses in my mind. Maybe the word “ruse” is the problem. Let’s call it something less sinister, like competitive intelligence (CI) gathering so it doesn’t sound as bad. Getting names through “competitive intelligence” has a more sophisticated aura about it. [To further stake my firm belief on the importance of CI, I am offering my own personal best practices award to the best non-Internet name-generating technique. The award will be presented at ERE’s ER Expo 2006 Spring. To apply, all you need to do is send me your best, most creative (and of course legal) technique for generating names without using the Internet. I’ll then review them with a small committee of judges to determine which one is the most creative and outrageous. I’ll even make the call with my attorney friend to see if any of them are illegal. The best legal and most outrageous technique will get the award, and I’ll personally pay for the winner’s entrance fee for ERE’s spring conference in San Diego.] I believe that using CI techniques to generate names is appropriate and essential. It should be part of every recruiter’s tool box. Furthermore, I don’t know of a single great (pre-Internet) recruiter who was in the top 10% of his or her group and who didn’t do it like an expert or expect their researcher to do it. If you couldn’t creatively generate names of top passive candidates, you were either destined to the average pile, or you weren’t too interested in finding absolutely the best people available for your client. If you want to find more passive candidates who haven’t been scoured over yet by the Internet data-mining experts (whom I applaud), you might want to consider using some non-Internet CI techniques. Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Attend the annual ball. This is the technique where you call up the department admin or secretary and ask for some names of people to invite to a workshop or conference. Of course, most people won’t just give you the names without some convincing information. For one, you need to mention a real conference, e.g., the .net West Coast users group. There are some common objections you’ll need to address when you try this. Here’s one: “Just send me the information.” The response to this is something like, “I get paid for actual names, and each conference brochure is personally mailed to a person. Our company has found out that the highest response rate is when a personal invitation has been sent.” When the admin says she’s not allowed to provide names, ask who the supervisor would likely send to such a conference, and say you’ll just send the info directly to that person. Dropping a real name here is useful. “Would the supervisor send Bill Jones to the conference again?” is a great way to get the name of the best person in the group, since the admin now thinks you are legitimate. By the way, this is the method which conference marketing companies used to use to get names of potential attendees. They probably still do.
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  3. “I’ll remember the name.” This is an old standby. First call up someone in the company who might know your target person. Then say something like, “I spoke last week to someone in accounting on the new accounting package, but can’t remember the person’s name. As soon as I hear it again I’ll recognize it. Who would be in charge of Sarbanes Oxley reporting?” Then urge the person to run through a list of likely suspects.
  4. The ski bug technique. This is a variation of “I can’t remember the name” and was one I actually used to get 20 rate clerks placed at Flying Tigers Airlines back in the early ’80s. In those days, pre-Fedex, shipping international packages required some complex freight calculations. My former boss was the CFO, and he gave me 20 reqs to fill at $2,000 each. I started calling freight forwarders using the “I can’t remember the name” technique, but I opened the door with, “I met a very nice woman last weekend who was looking at purchasing my VW bug and I can’t remember her name. I’m sure I’ll remember it if I hear it again. Does anyone at your firm match that description?” For every name, I asked for more information ó how smart they are, what their appearance is, whether they were a skier or not, etc. Then I would end the call saying that no names sounded familiar and suggested she probably didn’t work at that firm. I placed 14 people with Flying Tigers that month and placed an additional 6 managers at a 30% fee that same year.
  5. The back door approach. Call someone who works in another department for the name of someone they probably know. When calling the other person, say you must have gotten the wrong number and that you’re looking for the person responsible for hardware design or product marketing or whatever. For example, call procurement and ask for someone in engineering, or call accounts payable and ask for anyone. The accounts payable supervisor person knows everyone, and the person handling incoming calls would always give you the name of the A/P person.
  6. Plus or minus one. The key here was to get the extension number of just one person in the department you were targeting. If you had the resume of someone who worked in the company, this was pretty easy. It’s even easier today. Then just start calling other extensions and ask, “I got your name on a networking call as someone I should contact. Let me ask you, would you be open to exploring a situation if it was shown to be clearly superior to what you’re doing today?”

Getting names like this takes some guts. But it’s something every big biller did ó and probably still does ó if he or she wants to remain a big biller. If you were really good, you’d also generate some great referrals from everyone you called. This way you could find enough top candidates for any search in days. Now they talk about months to close a search. This does not seem like progress to me. So in my mind, getting names fast, making lots of cold calls, and getting great referrals was what recruiting was all about. I think it still is. Name generating this way doesn’t seem much different to me than running a Yahoo! search with some clever strings to find some “hidden” candidates. After all, it’s what you do next that really counts. Don’t ignore techniques like this. In the last few months, I’ve worked directly with over 300 hiring managers in some of the top firms in the country. Their biggest complaint with their corporate recruiters is that they’re not digging deep enough to find passive candidates. Hiring managers expect recruiters to generate names of passive candidates any way they can. They want top people, not excuses. During the ’80s and early ’90s, because of our success here, we were often called by companies to advise them on how to prevent recruiting firms from poaching their best employees. We suggested providing great jobs and great career opportunities. Bottom line is that’s what we were offering, and there’s nothing unethical about that.

Lou Adler is the CEO and founder of The Adler Group – a training and search firm helping companies implement Performance-based Hiring℠. Adler is the author of the Amazon top-10 best-seller, Hire With Your Head (John Wiley & Sons, 3rd Edition, 2007). His most recent book has just been published, The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired (Workbench, 2013). He is also the author of the award-winning Nightingale-Conant audio program, Talent Rules! Using Performance-based Hiring to Build Great Teams (2007).

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56 Comments on “Ethics, Poaching and Competitive Intelligence

  1. The title of this article got my attention. As a competitive intelligence professional (and occasional recruiter/screener), I, along with my colleagues take the topic of CI ethics quite seriously. That being said, I wonder how well the practices mentioned in this article would be viewed by those who subscribe to the SCIP Code of Ethics shown below:

    SCIP Code of Ethics for
    CI Professionals

    -To continually strive to increase the recognition and respect of the profession.
    -To comply with all applicable laws, domestic and international.
    -To accurately disclose all relevant information, including one’s identity and organization, prior to all interviews.
    -To fully respect all requests for confidentiality of information.
    -To avoid conflicts of interest in fulfilling one’s duties.
    -To provide honest and realistic recommendations and conclusions in the execution of one’s duties.
    -To promote this code of ethics within one’s company, with third-party contractors and within the entire profession.
    -To faithfully adhere to and abide by one’s company policies, objectives, and guidelines.

    Please be advised that putting the CI label on practices that do not conform to a code adopted by most of the real pros in this business is a misrepresentation of what we do, and what we stand for. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to visit the Society for Competitive Intelligence Professionals site at http://www.scip.org.

  2. Lou,

    It is not often that I find myself in strong disagreement with your articles and/or strategies, however I am in this case.

    Yes, as a recruiter I source, gather competitive intelligence, network and poach. The difference is that I don’t hide who I am or what I am doing. Nor do I ruse. I didn’t do it when I was on the agency side and I don’t do it on the corporate side.

    Since when has being a top performing recruiter required deceit? The ends do not always justify the means. Is this ‘sanctimonious’ or ‘self-righteous’? Maybe in some people’s view. But it is honest.

    I find it interesting that you put forth the position that by using an agency, as a corporate recruiter, I am somehow complicit in the deception perpetrated by a recruiter who lies. I disagree. If I have my car parked using the valet service at a restaurant and the valet gets a speeding ticket in my car or uses it for some other nefarious purpose, am I also an accessory or somehow complicit? The answer is no.

    Intentional deception is, in fact, dishonest (certainly disingenuous at the very least), irrespective of how nicely you try to package it or how one might obfuscate it in terms of ‘technique’ or ‘productivity’.

    This article seems to indicate that you are unwilling to accept that there is room for another person’s opinion or approach to aggressive recruiting. Again, I disagree. And that is my privilege if not my responsibility.

    Regards,
    Todd

  3. Thanks, Lou, for this extraordinarily well-written affirmation of what the best amongst us have always done to find the talent our clients need.

    ..Furthermore, I don’t know of a single great (pre-Internet) recruiter…

    I started in 1979.

    …who was in the top 10% of his or her group…

    I have been, for much of the time since. The exceptions were the years I got complacent as a TPR (flashback to 1995: ‘Wow, check out this new Internet thing; looks like I don’t have to pick up the phone again EVER.’) or was on the inside and constrained by the hand-wringers in HR (always they were in HR, never on the line making or selling a product or service).

    …and who didn’t do it like an expert or expect their researcher to do it.

    Both, in my case.

    As I mentioned in a previous post, not once when operating as a TPR has a client ever posed the question, ‘How did you find this candidate?’ We all know why that is, don’t we?

  4. Lou,

    What a great article. I can say that from the stand point of third party I have never seen a successful recruiter that doesn’t source names in some questionable way. You have to be competitive. Monster and Careerbuilder are not the 3rd party way, sure third party recruiter?s use them, but they aren’t the highest producers in the industry. You have to be aggressive and very tactful. You have to dig for information and not be scared to make the next call. Oh yeah that is what it is…scared, too many recruiters are scared to call people at work or to pick up the phone. Perfect, more for me. I don?t believe everything I read in this forum, but I do believe one thing that Dr. Sullivan said ?What I do as a recruiter is to offer people increased opportunities for growth, challenge, and income. I’m never ashamed of that? How can this be wrong? The only bad opportunity is a missed opportunity. A passive candidate is only passive because they don?t know what is on the other side of the pillow. It?s cool on the other side, you just have to be presented with the opportunity to turn the pillow over. As a third party recruiter I don?t feel ashamed to offer someone a better opportunity.

  5. In previous ethics discussions on this forum, some lamented what they perceive to be the sorry state of recruitment, involving ‘stealing’ of other firm’s employees. Others hastened in and correctly pointed out that slavery was abolished a long time ago, so ‘stealing’ of employees is a literal impossibility. Kidnapping also being off the table, some switched their word choice to ‘poaching’ in order to continue their discussions. Lou Adler, (tongue-in-cheek), has delivered this article that says hey, poaching has existed since the dawn of recruiting and could everyone just get over it. He then proceeds to announce that he is even going to (gasp!) hold a contest for the best name-generation techniques! Some might compare Lou to those unknown and unnamed scoundrels who put up websites with instructions on bomb-making or other terroristic activities.

    I hate to rain on the colorful use of the word ‘poaching’ by Lou, but I just don’t see where it fits. No where in its definition does it describe the activities that fit with the approach and recruitment of passive candidates.

    I don’t think we ‘cook in simmering liquid’ the candidates we approach. Nor do we ‘ILLEGALLY hunt, trap, or fish’ for them, because it is simply not illegal to present bona-fide opportunities to anyone, no matter how you do it. Nor do we ‘compact them’ when they are wet by ‘trampling’ with ‘animal hooves.’ Even the most loose definition of poach, describing the ‘taking’ of something ‘unfairly’ isn’t even close, because presenting an opportunity in hopes they will decide to engage and (horrors!) change employers, does not describe unfairness in any terms.

    As you have probably surmised by now, I prefer the ‘Competitive Intelligence Activities’ verbage to ‘Poaching’ verbage, no matter how much fun it is to picture some of our bretheren gnashing their teeth.

  6. There used to be a song in the UK by a group called the Fun Boy Three called ‘It ‘aint what you do, it’s the way that you do it’ (Could be ERE has their very own FBT on here. Any suggestions?)

    It was one of those irritating songs that as hard as you tried, you just could not stop singing it.

    It’s quite apt really here because like the song, just when you think it’s safe, someone else starts singing it and it’s back with you.

    It ‘aint what you do, it’s the way that you do it is exactly on the button with this subject.

    We all know what we do for a living, well at least I hope we do. It’s just that some people want to do it, well let’s say differently from others. Maybe they know best.

    It is somewhat ironic that although this article, I guess is in support of the Sullivan article, there are 10 words in the very first paragraph that actually disagree with some of it.

    ‘Other than misleading a candidate about the merits of the job’.

    Isn’t interviewing candidates for a position posted on a job board that does not exist, only to get names for another position just slightly misleading a candidate?

    Blackmailing candidates for names of their colleagues with job offers and buying items with the sole intention of returning them are probably worse than misleading candidates, but these issues seem easy to forget…..or ignore.

    This article is not about TPRs or indeed Corporate Recruiters, it’s about the practices of one Company and yet people talk about it as though it’s how we all behave. Thankfully it is not.

    All these fancy ideas to source names, legal or not legal (I still say it’s dodgy if you need to check just how legal) are all very well but you cannot beat the best way and that is to pick up the phone and talk to people.

    I have found that this is the biggest problem people have in doing this job well today. So what do they do if they can’t pick up the phone, they try to find another way and promote it as being better. This could be the route cause of this whole subject.

    It ‘aint what you do, it’s the way that you do it.

  7. Hmm, if we disagree with Lou and Dr. John, we are ‘sanctimonious’, but if we lie to candidates, we are in the top 10% of our profession, and somehow still using phone ruses to get candidates. I don’t buy it.

    Bottom line, people don’t like being lied to (despite whether you can live with yourself after you’ve done it…that’s your call). The recommendations in the article smack of old-school, smoke and mirrors tactics.

    My company and my candidates deserve better than that. Through this ongoing discussion, I’ve met some amazing recruiters that I believe are doing it the right way. I’m so glad that this topic has been brought to the fore so I could find out who those people are.

  8. Lou,
    I too agree with Todd, having been impressed w/many of your articles, today was a letdown.

    Why people feel that it is essential to perform recruiting by lying, or through dishonest methods baffles me. It is not necessary to lose your integrity or be dishonest to perform this job well.

    Today, I spent 35 mins on the phone teaching someone how to recruit in a field unknown to me, and in the first 5 mins of the call I was able to find over 12 Solid Names (and numbers or e-mail addresses) for them to network with.

    To be called Sanctimonious because you are concerned about the negative reputation and consistent lack of professionalism that is perpetuating this industry is disturbing.

    Where is the line going to be drawn, how much further down will we go, before we say enough is enough?
    At this point, who will determine for US what is right or wrong, since we seem to have a problem of abiding by the standards of this industry that were created years ago.

    If we think that we can continue this way, w/o some legal entity stepping up to the plate and doing for us, then we are keeping our head in the sand. We cannot continue thinking we can do as we please, ultimately hurting others in the process, and continuing to draw negative attention to our field w/o ultimately getting some intervention sooner or later.

  9. All – Here’s my definition of POACHING – right from Microsoft Word. It’s what we do guys. Get over it! Following is the second definition. The third one is also appropriate. But you’ll have to look that one up yourself. If you’re contacting another company’s employees without this company’s permission and asking them to consider leaving then you are POACHING. And good luck at being the best at doing it.

    Lou

    Poaching ? encroaching on something

    to encroach on other people?s rights, territory, or sphere of operation in order to appropriate or remove SOMEBODY or something

    Example: The rival company?s sales force was poaching on our turf.

  10. Deborah,
    I think the part that people miss the boat on is the terminology. Recruiting and poaching are two different things. Poaching is illegal, Recruiting is not. Please look up poaching to understand.

    I can only speak for myself, but when I started my conversations re poaching, I did not suggest that Corporations should NOT recruit, nor did I suggest that it was illegal to recruit. Poaching is a different matter. Please review First article re Ethics and Recruiting.

    I was concerned and stressed an irresponsibility by not educating individuals on the how to avoid and eliminate legal issues that can and will follow certain recruiting practices, and these issues can also affect the TPR as well as the Corp recruiter.

    Re ruse calling or other means ? well I tried it once, suggestion of a friend, and I could not even do it well, (that darn Catholic guilt), I even called back the person and apologized. Guess what got names because I did. Have NEVER tried again..
    One Does Not need to, and there are many of us who will Never consider it.

  11. Todd – you’re missing 60% of the market if you don’t use CI related name-generating techniques. This means it’s taking you more than twice the time to fill searches than necessary. In my opinion this is extremely unproductive to ignore a gold mine of candidates due to call reluctance.

    But that’s just my opinion.

    Whoever wrote about the code of ethics: I would unjoin today from a group that has such a dumb code of ethics like this. I certainly wouldn’t use a recruiting firm who advocated it either.

    But that’s just my opinion.

    LOu

  12. As I sit here on a plane from Boston to the OC I can?t help but reflect on the past few days. Wow! First off, I?m writing this by hand, yes with pen & pad. If you know me then you know I normally preach ?paperless?; but maybe due to my emotional, mental, & physical drain I figured ?why not try some old-school journaling.

    I was extremely fortunate to spend some incredible & enlightening time with the top leaders in the recruiting industry. These all-stars included well respected HR Executives, Staffing Consultants, Headhunters, Business Managers, CEO?s, Sourcing Guru?s, Authors, Technologists, etc. I honestly can?t recall the last time I learned so much & was stretched so far in such a short time.

    How grateful I am to the people who believed in me enough to make my first ER Expo so amazing. Thank you!

    Ethics & sourcing are 2 words that people use to describe who I am today. Sourcing because that?s what I do best and ethics; which recently have caused so much discussion. I told some trusted contacts in my personal sphere of influence that I believe lying is wrong. Why is that so radical? A few thoughts come to mind as I reflect on their reactions:

    1. The truth hurts.
    2. The greatest fear of mankind is the fear to change.
    3. You can like, respect, & honor someone while disagreeing with their opinion &/or action(s).

    One thing I know well is that ethical choices are based on personal belief systems. You can be unethical & still successful. You can be honest & broke. You can be successful and still not be sure if you are truly ethical, etc. I propose to our Industry that we figure out, personally for ourselves, what our drivers are. I?m not the greatest Sourcer of all time & I?d be lying to say I have never lied. But, I do know 3 very critical things about myself, my life, and my work.

    1. My passion is to help people by presenting them with opportunities that will give them & their families a better life. As that passion drives me I have no choice but to be honest with myself and hold to a hire ethical standard. Why would I attempt to help people & their families by starting out with a lie? In my book, the end result will never justify the means if those means are built upon dishonesty.
    2. Just because some people have had past & present success via a certain method or system does not mean that it was right or that it will work in the future. Yes, the internet is here & real. Welcome to 2005. Yes, we still need to have the high-touch (even more then ever). If we collectively fail to embrace change then our industry could disappear. Just because you had to lie in the 80?s & 90?s doesn?t mean I am required to today to be successful.
    3. If there is 1 thing I do better then anything else it?s sourcing. Even though I feel strongly about my skill-set, I?m not ignorant to the fact that undoubtedly there is someone out in our world that is honing their sourcing skills while I write this. Honestly, I hope they pass me up.

    To me a vision is something to hold onto, protect, and cherish. Here is mine:

    10 years from now when an up & coming hot-shot rookie sourcing pro asks me about the how?s & why?s around recruiting (and specifically sourcing) ? I?ll be able to say to them ?You don?t have to lie, cheat, bend the truth, word-smith, use mental gymnastic justification, be a BS artist, scam, ruse, or even poach an egg to target & build great relationships with great people.? Hopefully, I can add to that something like ? ?Remember the War for Talent back in ?05-?06? Well, guess what? The honest, smart, hard-working, tech embracing, industry change agents won that War!?

    Thoughts?

    Jeremy Langhans
    Senior Sourcer
    Yahoo Inc

  13. Guerrilla tactics and jungle tiger approaches to recruiting, aggressive attitudes and competition for the sake of competition is good. These have their place. And we should call the spade a spade when we do these things, not walk in under a veil of civility and smaltzy goody-goodiness.

    There have been a lot of folks on ERE recently who self-righteously proclaim to be higher than ethical in all of their practices. I’ve remained silent and not jumped into the fray. Instead, I merely pass by the hysteria and shake my head.

    One of them who shrieked the loudest was also the person who called me in order to enlist my assistance in pirating the Ethics in Recruiting group from me. I was to keep the whole deal under wraps and become number 7 in the group of other members.

    Then there were a couple of folks who wanted me to give over something to them because they didn’t know if they could continue with their project. The underlying initiative was to pump up their numbers with what I’d already developed.

    And then there was the person who wanted me to send them my research for some workshops and presentations I’m doing. They did not want me to do a presentation, nor pay for the research. They just wanted the ‘village idiot’ to send over the research.

    I have a difficult time believing those who audibly proclaim their ethical nature. What speaks louder for me is the actions of a person.

    Lou and John have spoken and I respect what they have said.

    Viva

  14. As one of the soldiers from the old days before all the techiques of internet recruiting, it was very refreshing to see you write about the basic need for deep souricng skills with the telephone. The techniques have not changed, how you get there may change but you still have to do the hard work by digging deep through the organizations to find the right candidate. it is actually thrilling to indentify the right person.

    Nice to hear you refer to the frustration of the top managers, was wondering when they were going to complain, it is my opinion that the current model of internal sourcing models for corporations is maybe not the best, most aggressive approach for them to take. They need enhancing with tough, smart, seasoned execuitve recruiters that know there way around organizational structure, that know how to target and recruit the candidates.

    Thanks for brilliant writing.

    Mary P Spilman

  15. I would like to address some responses by first repeating something I said to Sullivan in Recruiting culture and ethics –
    It is irresponsible to suggest certain processes w/o mentioning how to protect ones self from ?legal jeopardy? to quote Sullivan – ?one could face a legal challenge on the premise that You are purposely attempting to harm the other firm by interfering w/their employment relations, stealing trade secrets, or unfairly competing or gain an unfair advantage.?
    He also mentions that the cases are increasing in numbers.

    I have Some excellent links to articles that outline unfair competition, problems that can arise from Predatory recruiting and how to protect oneself from legal problems and still be able to perform your job to the best of your ability.

    W/that being said? First off Again I will say it is NOT Illegal To Recruit, and Poaching and Recruiting are not the same thing.

    2 Recruiting Does NOT have to be unethical, One does not have to lie, cheat, pillage or plunder to get information on more than 60/80 or 100 percent of the market. Not wanting to perform unethically does not signify call reluctance. One can recruit and call w/o lying. FYI I recruit, don?t use Job Boards, and make placements w/o ruse calling and still manage to stay ethical ? and I am considered one of the better recruiters in my industry.

    3 the code of ethics re this industry has been around for longer than many of us are alive. Most of the members of Associations that promote these ethics, that is why we join, and many companies do appreciate and prefer to utilize recruiters who practice these ethics. Would you want an Accountant who did not abide by their ethics??? As more and more people get fed up with the lack of business ethics, one continues to see a rise in the companies who seek out the recruiters who are members of associations.
    */* Some states make sure one abides by them (remember 14 States have full regulation, and 26 have some laws surrounding the industry.) Yes I mean Permanent Placement. We were once regulated and these ethics are in place for a reason.

    4 Heather and Jeremy make excellent points, how we forget the welfare of the PEOPLE we are representing, the clients and candidates. This does hurt us as a whole, as a group. And we do have the right to be upset and be able to speak up against this behavior to protect ourselves, our industry, and our reputation.

    5 -This is NOT a War, it should not be based upon ?guerilla tactics?, unfriendly competition, angry and offensive behavior, unconstitutional, unethical, borderline/illegal behavior; This is business, and a business that Deals with Peoples lives and the welfare of companies.
    This industry should be about protection of the individuals/business we deal with, and about encouraging Beneficial, favorable and fulfilling, professional, ethical customer service, respect, appreciation, and POSITIVE business competition.

    In conclusion, this industry once had an honorable reputation. It is older than most industries, there has been times where it was a client market and when it was candidate. We did not have to approach such nefarious behavior in the past to succeed, so what has changed now??? Why did it need to??

    Jeremy and Heather Both work at companies that have had success without resorting to tactics, and their companies are doing extremely well..

    Could it be that Ethics Do Pay. Take a look at the following companies that won awards for ethical practices as well ?

    Valero Energy, Adolph Coors Co., Convergys, Wells Fargo Bank and are still very profitable. By the way Carreer xroads has a great article on this http://www.careerxroads.com/news/articles.html statistics found on http://www.careerxroads.com/news/2005FortuneStudyWhitepaper.pdf

    Here are the links I discussed earlier
    http://www.kkrlaw.com/changes/employeeraiding.htm Employee Raiding: What are a comp company’s Rights?

    http://library.findlaw.com/1999/Jan/1/127884.html Seven Deadly IP (intellectual property) Sins in Employee Hiring

    http://www.businesslaws.com/default.asp?htmlPage=toc48.htm Corporate Counsel’s Guide to
    Unfair Competition it has great information regarding unfair competition, FTC rules on Advertising, employee raiding, restrictive covenants and business ethics and unfair competition.

    http://www.unc.edu/~unclng/ip-overview.htm A great site that gives an excellent comprehensive overview of Intellectual property, and unfair competition

    http://www.pointsandauthorities.com/ipea.html Elements Of Negligent/Interference With Prospective Economic Advantage [IPEA]

  16. The King?s English is a subtle and complicated language. It has become the common tongue of our global village regardless. English incorporates spelling patterns and meanings from several different languages. The alphabet was created for languages with five vowels, while English has sixteen. Words have multiple meanings, words that sound alike are spelled different ways, vowels and consonant counts are diffused differently, an inflection on a word can make all the difference in its comprehension. Our community is global. It?s important we choose our words carefully; yes, ?word-smithing? has it?s rightful place in our language. We have a duty to impart our ?opinions? with carefully chosen words. As Karen states, the world is watching. Not all of them, but some, and we have another duty that speaks to getting things right.

    Statements like ?Poaching is illegal, Recruiting is not? invites trouble. Not only is it an absolute that will gall many people but it sends the message that there is only one consequence to the word. I?m splitting hairs here, I know, but let?s learn to choose our words more carefully. To use the definitions presented here, ?cooking in liquid? and ?encroaching on another?s territory? are not illegal. ?Taking something unfairly?, well this comes closest (I guess) but even it doesn?t hit the mark. There ARE laws on the books against stealing and trespassing, but poaching? I haven?t seen one yet. If I ?take? the last piece of a pie (it being my second) and you had one, you might think I took it unfairly. You might be right, but then again, consider this ugly scenario: you might not be! Grow up in a household of ten hungry kids, knowing that if you lolly-gag getting to the table there will be nothing left; this tends to affect one?s later reactions to the environment ? dare we call this the beginnings of ?ethics?? Now there?s a word we?ve taken and lobbed back and forth and made it the dirty grey ball it?s become.

    The word ?ethics?, has nearly twice the number of ?Definitions on the Web? attached to it as ?poach?. Most of which seem to boil down to something having to do with morality.

    Ethics – The discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation a) a set of moral principles or values b) a theory or system of moral values c) the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group.

    Now here?s where the herd really divides. One says tomato, run says tomoto. There are those who believe what is right or wrong ?for them? should be taken and applied, like mustard spread evenly over a piece of bread, to the group. It just ain?t gonna? happen folks, and this is because of another word known as homogeneity.

    Homogeneity – A characteristic of a medium in which material properties are identical everywhere.

    What does this speak to in the big picture of evolution? Species die out when they become too ?homogenous?. When a species becomes too alike in its character fixations it is doomed to extinction.

    It is within the meaning of another word, heterogeneity, that hope for our happy little group springs eternal. On the simplest level, heterogeneity can be defined as ‘with parts that are different’. Environmental heterogeneity is resource patchiness. ?Resource patchiness? being another interesting concept.

    Resource – available source of wealth; a new or reserve supply that can be drawn upon when needed.

    Patchiness ? ?drawn upon when needed?

    Get it yet? It is our very differences that make us a thriving successful system. Take those away, apply a ?one for all? rule, and we lose the very (and only) advantage we truly possess.

    To get back to the language thing, I?d venture to say most of us reading this learned English as children. Others have learned it as a second language, or are learning it as adults. Some have struggled in its comprehension ? I have seen the difficulty of learning it pegged as extremely difficult. There are some reading these strings who may miss the nuances in our posts that are readily recognizable to us who have learned it as our mother tongue. Think of the havoc accents have on our language. Then think of the real havoc misunderstanding could have. You can call me ?Patchy?, anyday.

    Respectfully,

  17. For those of you who feel that you could never call up a gatekeeper and say anything except, ‘May I have the name of your Director of ____(whatever), because I am seeking to recruit him or her,’ I challenge you to post an article that instructs and educates on what your competitive intellegence techniques for gathering names, etc. are. We would all no doubt benefit from such a means of education, especially since it seems to work so well for you. If you are truly interested in stamping out all this rampant dishonesty, let’s lay your cards on the table.

    And, well put Yvonne.

  18. I’ve been following the debate on this issue and I became an IT recruiter in 1999 when the internet was king (at least for me) in finding candidates. So, to Deborah’s point… without rusing, how did you find candidates prior to the internet (outside of candidates submitting their resume)?

    Everyone seems to be popping in to express their opinion and name generators aren’t afraid to say they ruse and why, so I was hoping someone who DOESN’T ruse would be willing to share how they generate candidates? And no, no one is expecting a step by step instructional on your method – just a general overview to help provide more perspective.

    Thanks!

  19. A quick point to all:

    This is not an ethics issue – it’s a performance issue. (see last paragraph)

    Since no one is going to change anyone’s mind just some observations:
    1. No one has ever be sued for agressive recruiting. Let’s point to the case law before we bring legal issues to bear. I work with the 3rd largest labor law firm in the country and they could not find any suits. If you have them, please cite them. We will investigate to clearly describe the tipping point between agressive non-internet name generating techniques and illegal stuff. Using the color of authority might be a grey zone, which I would avoid. Calling and saying you’d like to send some info to the QA Supervisor is pretty tame.
    2. Some of the stuff I hear about is a bit aggressive even from my view, and a few techniques might approach bribery – which I disavow. So there is a line not to cross, but picking up the phone and asking for names without saying who you are is not of them.
    3. Let’s be clear. The folks from the big companies mentioned don’t speak for the big companies mentioned. I know many senior level execs in HR, recruiting, and line management who DO NOT agree with the voice of one or two of their staff recruiters. (if they give me permission I will mention their names.)

    However, since we’ll never agree on this issue, I’d like to only look at it from a business case. By this I mean the business impact of not pursuing over 60% of the passive market. I’d contend that corporate recruiters who don’t use non-Internet name generating techniques are less efficient, less productive, not meeting their client needs, not finding enough top talent, and too slow. If you’re not delivering top candidates within 5-10 days then you are underperforming and you should try these techniques. If you are delivering people within this time frame, then you don’t need to use them. In my mind this is not an ethics issue – it’s a performance issue. If you’re underperforming and not using all of the tools available I do not think you’re delivering good service to your clients. To me, this is the ethics issue that should be discussed.

  20. Deborah,
    there are excellent Trainers Such As Doug Beabout CPC, CAC, Danny Cahill CPC, Terry Petra CPC, CIPC who have great training Resources. They also provide some great articles on the how on the net.

    If anyone is willing to call me and ask me suggestions I am willing to share. As I said in an earlier post, I helped one recruiter recently not only find names but fine tweak the approach. One can be amazed how honesty, and a different even a direct approach does work.

    Put it on the Net, well I am not a Certified trainer, don’t get paid for it, thus I am not willing to educate my competition and especially for free, (there honest answer), but willing to take the time out to help others for free.

    RE Trainers that are certified is a definite benefit. They are aware of changes in the industry, new regulations, the Code of Ethics and Standards, and recoginze how to do this job well w/in the standards of the industry. They teach you great recruiting habits. Many of the trainers mentioned have also served as Board members either for State or National Chapters for associations.

  21. Deborah, I like your question because it really makes you wonder about the validity of the processes in the original article that let’s face it, this whole discussion is all about.

    Just imagine for a minute that you are in charge of recruiting for 1 of 750 banks in the same geographical area where competition for each others staff is fierce. You have created some unique new methods to find the best people in your competition that were very successful.

    Number 4 on the list on the list of strategies is:
    To gain a competitive advantage.

    Your CEO supports these practices because all he is interested in is the share holder value. (Ethical or unethical is irrelevant here. Apparently it’s irrelvant to all CEOs anyway if you believe some on ERE). He is so pleased with your results that you get invited to the next share holders meeting.

    So what do you do next?

    The first thing your going to do is publish it on the internet telling everyone, including your competition, exactly how you do it isn’t it.

    Isn’t it? oops you forgot about number 4 on the list.

    How pleased would the CEO be if he finds out you have just shared your methods with the very companies you are using them on as well as sharing them with the general recruiting industry in the US?

    How pleased would the share holders be?

    Maybe it’s a bluff all along to get the competition using these methods. Now that would be smart.

    Do you know what? The more this discussion lumbers on, the more it makes wonder if the original processes are just untrue.

    So does this rampant dishonesty (your words, not mine) really exist or is about self promotion? (sorry, apparently we can’t say that either).

    The original article got over 100 responses. This article is already over 20 and I suspect will hit 50+. How many articles normally hit that number? Maybe getting responses is important.

    I think Lou has made an error in joining in and supporting the discussion. He did not need to and might lose some credibility by doing so which would be a great shame. He has only suceeded in adding his support to these practices rather than any real value.

    I suspect that there are more people out there viewing all this than some might realise.

  22. It’s more productive.
    Our clients/hiring managers want us to do it.
    Its what recruiters have always done.

    They all sound like rationalizations to me. Not one of these makes it right to lie, deceive and misrepresent oneself to prospective candidates. Yes, it may be faster. Yes, it may be well received by some whom you are trying to please. Yes, many recruiters have done this for many years. Does that make it right?

    One of the goals of top 10% recruiters should be to create trust between the recruiter and the candidate. Establishing trust translates into a higher level of openness by the candidate, and thus greater understanding of the candidates experiences, needs, and motivations. The benefits of this are in doing a better job of selecting the right talent for the organization, plus as the search progresses, insuring a far better success rate of closing the candidate.

    Secondly, beginning the relationship by establishing yourself and your organization as one who places little value on integrity, honesty, and fair dealing says much about what your organization (or the organization you represent) values. Top level canidates are keenly atuned to every clue about the character and culture of the organization. So what message do you choose to send?

    What disturbs me about touting the art of the ruse as a best practice for top recruiters is that it cheapens us all. We are portrayed as either frightened, mouse pushing, lazy cubicle dwellers who can’t think beyond a job board, or highly efficient scammers whose hawking of fine growth opportunities justifies any technique we might connive to make the deal. There are many who strive for a higher ground, and this article does not serve them well.

  23. Lou, you said:

    3. Let’s be clear. The folks from the big companies mentioned don’t speak for the big companies mentioned. I know many senior level execs in HR, recruiting, and line management who DO NOT agree with the voice of one or two of their staff recruiters. (if they give me permission I will mention their names.)

    Feel free to e-mail me and let me know. I am at Heather (dot) Hamilton (at) microsoft (dot) com.

    I got a LOT of e-mail from people at my company (and other companies) praising the point of view I represented in the article I wrote and NOT ONE disagreeing with it. Since surely a senior level exec shouldn’t be concerned with a ‘staff recruiter’ as you stated (not my job, by the way), would there be any reason why they wouldn’t e-mail me and disagree? Or better yet, tell me to clam up?

    And just to be crystal, I ran my article up the flag pole in my chain of command. I’m not a renegade here, by any means.

  24. Maureen, I’m loving your post on language…you were one of the few respondants that seem to understand what I was trying to convey in my post. To all, bear in mind that I myself usually get what I need via web research to find names, or simply calling into the correct dept. from my research and just asking for the person I need. 9 times out of 10, I get the person on the phone. Perhaps this is due to my expertise about not only healthcare but in general, the way companies are typically set up.

    What do I do the one time out of ten that I can’t get the name simply by asking? I’ll say,

    ‘Gee, I understand that I called you out of the blue, and I’m sorry I caught you off-guard. I’m trying to complete an important project, and it’s a given that your ____dept. sets an industry standard of sorts. It would really mean a lot to me to speak with the indivdual in charge, today, if at all possible, to help me with this project. It will save me considerable time if I can be connected to that person by you, or if you can tell me how to reach this person and their name.’

    I personally feel that I am not being underhanded or dishonest with this type of approach. My interactions with candidates tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I believe my work satisfies both performance goals and ethical considerations.

  25. Lou, you’re absolutely right – it IS a performance issue, but many are all hung up on the ethics part and everyone wants to impose ONE set (theirs) on everyone else. This has become a JUDGMENT issue. Judgment is an expensive thing, nice, I guess, if you can afford it, I can’t. ‘Well, I never…!’ and ‘That’s not right…!’ and ‘I am shocked, simply shocked…’. Many are pointing fingers…oh! Pointing fingers – that reminds me… there?s an old proverb (African I think) that goes something to the effect, ‘When you point a finger, you have three fingers pointing right back at you.’

    I?ve seen it written, ?It is said at times that the things that most bother us in other
    people are the things that we ourselves have yet to deal with in our own lives. This is not always true, but there is enough truth in it that it should be said here. All of us could take time in our lives to become aware of the things that really bother us in others. Then we ought to take a bit more time and ask ourselves how those things have been dealt with in our own lives. This is simply a suggestion… We must not become caught up in the psychology of all of this, but in the opportunity of dealing with our own challenges and finding ways of growing in ourselves and accepting others more deeply.?

    The challenge being to look at our own faults as we deal with the faults of others. This is a wonderful challenge… but to deal with others’ faults always with this deep awareness of our own personal sinfulness and imperfection. This has the potential to bring much compassion to how we view (judge) others.

  26. Lou,
    I guess what you mean by aggressive recruiting.. That is vague. Many aspects legal, ethical or such like can fit that definition.

    Lying on the phone to get information, (Telecommunications Acts) yes there truly has been lawsuits. Have they all been Won, (no, but the expense was there) especially if you are Improperly Gaining what the company considers to be legal sensitive information**- Even Using Company directories is illegal (just recently learnt this information), as it is company private information, just look at the copyright information on the documents. (corporate data espionage)
    Raiding, yes there really has been lawsuits, and the information re those lawsuits are all over these posts on ERE. For Case Laws, please go to findlaw.com for information.

    Poaching, interesting definitions – but to understand the true aspect of poaching, and the legal terminology. Let us look at the Elephants and Ivory in Africa; one cannot poach them, they are protected, there is legal protection restraining your ability to poach them and to make sure that you cannot get what is not rightfully yours.

    Putting that in Recruiting Terms – if a candidate has a legal clause or constraint, restriction, then going after that person would be considered poaching.(Microsoft/Google) If the candidate is free and clear then that is considered to be standard recruiting.

    Again, knowing what is legal, where you can cross the line, and how it can affect you personally (re Mark Walsh wrote about his legal suit on another string) is a great idea.

    **If companies have legal contracts, policies and restraints in place and you Improperly gain Sensitive information , this is where one can have issues. If not, then it is ALMOST free game. But here is where we can have problems w/corporate espionage and Fraud. The courts look at ? could you have normally gotten this information, is this information open to the public, or has the company made consistent attempts to protect the information. If they have been careless or sloppy, then you have a better chance getting away with it.

  27. Taken from –
    http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/title9/crm01127.htm
    http://www.fenwick.com/docstore/publications/IP/Trade_Secrets_Protection.pdf

    Trade secret is considered to be: 1. Secret; 2. Of value; 3. For use or in use by the business; and 4. Of advantage to the business, or providing an opportunity to obtain an advantage, over those who do not know or use it when the owner thereof takes measures to prevent it from becoming available to persons other than those selected by the owner to have access thereto for limited purposes. (Key employees are considered to be trade secrets, check Fenwick.com)

    What are Trade Secrets – Definition The Colorado Uniform Trade Secrets Act (the ‘Act’) defines a trade secret as follows: A. A trade secret is the whole or any portion or phase of any scientific or technical information, design, process, procedure, formula, improvement, confidential business or financial information, listing of names, addresses, or telephone numbers, or other information relating to any business or profession

    From – http://www.shsu.edu/~klett/CHAPTER%2014%20BL.htm;
    http://www.mansfieldtanick.com/CM/Articles/Articles63.asp
    and http://www.hartley.com/natfraud.htm-

    The elements of fraudulent misrepresentation are as follows:
    Actions: Fraud: Proof. In order to maintain an action for fraudulent misrepresentation, a plaintiff must allege and prove the following elements: (1) that a representation was made; (2) that the representation was false; (3) that when made, the representation was known to be false or made recklessly without knowledge of its truth and as a positive assertion; (4) that it was made with the intention that the plaintiff should rely upon it; (5) that the plaintiff reasonably did so rely; and (6) that the plaintiff suffered damage as a result. s.

    In the United States, trade secret law is a matter for the individual states, not the federal government. As in many other areas of law, however, the several states have not just gone their own way. A private group known as the Commission on Uniform State Laws has provided a model ‘Uniform Trade Secrets Act,’ which many individual states of the United States have adopted with varying degrees of modification. That act may be found at UTSA, http://www.cerebalaw.com/utsa.htm but of course in any particular instance one must look specifically to the law of the relevant state.

    SIC – to prove a fraud, there are all kinds of elements that must be demonstrated. In Torts 101. You have to show that there is: (1) a misrepresentation of a material fact, (2) scienter (that the speaker knew or believed the statement was false), (3) intent (the speaker intended to induce the listener to act or not act in reliance on the misrepresentation), (4) causation (the listener actually detrimentally relied on the misrepresentation), (5) justifiable reliance (generally reliance is justifiable only as to statements of fact, not opinions), and (6) damages. And, of course, there are numerous defenses that are available in a fraud case

    SCIP Code of Ethics for CI Professionals
    To continually strive to increase the recognition and respect of the profession.
    To comply with all applicable laws, domestic and international.
    To accurately disclose all relevant information, including one’s identity and organization, prior to all interviews.
    To fully respect all requests for confidentiality of information.
    To avoid conflicts of interest in fulfilling one’s duties.
    To provide honest and realistic recommendations and conclusions in the execution of one’s duties.
    To promote this code of ethics within one’s company, with third-party contractors and within the entire profession.
    To faithfully adhere to and abide by one’s company policies, objectives, and guidelines.

  28. What is the difference between ethics, morals and values?
    There is a huge confustion regarding what is personal morals, Values and Personal and Business Ethics; What many of us object to is Not the use of Personal Ethics.. That you do on your own time, and affects YOUR own PERSONAL Reputation. But, when it affects the professionalism of a group or industry as a whole, there in lies the problem..

    as per http://www.ethics.org/ask_e4.html

    VALUES
    values are our fundamental beliefs. They are the principles we use to define that which is right, good and just. Values provide guidance in determining the right versus the wrong, the good versus the bad. They are our standards. Another way to characterize values is that they are what an individual believes to be of worth and importance to their life (valuable). Values do not encompass all beliefs, just the beliefs that define importance and worth.

    MORALS
    Morals are values that we attribute to a system of beliefs that help the individual define right versus wrong, good versus bad. These values typically get their authority from something outside the individual- a higher being or higher authority (e.g. government, society). In the business world we often find ourselves avoiding framing our ethical choices in moral terms for fear that doing so might prove offensive (lacking in respect or compassion) to someone whose moral frame of reference might be different. Moral concepts, judgments and practices (how one defines right or good) may vary from one society to another. The moral concept of ‘justice’ has one meaning in the United States that is grounded in the formation and application of civil law. ‘Justice’ as it is understood and applied in Afghanistan is very different. Morals also change over time within a given society as that society changes.

    ETHICS
    Ethics is the study of what we understand to be good and right behavior and how people make those judgments.

    When one acts in ways that are consistent with our moral values we will characterize that as acting ethically. When one’s actions are not congruent with our moral values – our sense of right, good and just – we will view that as acting unethically.

    Defining what is ethical is not an individual exercise however. If it were then one could have argued that what Hitler did was ethical since his actions conformed to his definition of right, fair and good. The ethics of our decisions and actions is defined societally, not individually.

    Closing Note

    Finally, it should be noted that this definition is a work in progress. One of the true joys of working in this field is that the dialog on morals, values and ethics is ongoing and evolving. A simple example: it is only recently that terms like ‘sustainable development’ or phrases like ‘the environment as a stakeholder’ have been viewed as a legitimate part of the conversation surrounding business/organizational ethics. Ethics is not a discipline bound up in history, but is a living, organic study of humanity and its evolving sense of rightness, goodness and justice

  29. We’re all missing the point of this article. Including me. Stop writing definitions. Argue the point if you want that stealing another company’s employees is okay (this is poaching by Microsoft Word’s definition), which is legal in the US, but there are ethical and non-ethical ways to do this. In my mind this is comparable to being an honest criminal. This is both a double standard and hypocritical. As we all know Google was just found not guilty of stealing a Microsoft employee. However this same employee is not permitted to steal other Microsoft employees for at least a year or so.

    Getting names is a sub-task of stealing some other company’s employees.We all do this if we are targeting passive candidates. Since name gathering is part of this stealing process, why does it matter how you get the name?

    Does your company condone bribery to get these names? This seems like a real crime to me, but when it’s called an employee referral program it’s apparently okay. Why aren’t some of you outraged by this? I don’t see the difference.

    By some of your definitons it seems to me that the new referral services that offers a way to have job seekers call your employees (whom they don’t know) and ask to be referred, should be a questionable practice. This is especially so if the employee gets a referral bribe. But I know many of you are buying this service. Isn’t this misappropriation of company funds?

    If your company uses TPRs than you are openly condoning any practice to get names of passive candidates.

    So the point of my article is that if you are stealing another company’s employees there are a lot of questionable activities involved. None that I can find that are illegal. Regardless, these are part of the bigger non-crime of stealing another company’s employees. So if you’re not using all of the techniques that are available you are potentially underperforming. Furthermore your company condones these questionable practices if it has openly said it wants to hire passive candidates. Again, this is the big non-crime that we’re all part of, and anyway you do it makes you an accessory.

  30. Just an observation: some of Lou’s ideas for creative CI sound just like the ‘social engineering’ activities hacker Kevin Mitnick describes in his book ‘The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security.’

    Too funny!

  31. hey jennifer —

    to address your request: wish you would’ve been at shally’s workshop in boston at the er expo last week … he did an AMAZING job of showing how to get information by datamining the internet.

    if you wanna know how i get names without lying to my computer you can email me:

    jeremy @ jeremylanghans.com

    happy sourcing all!

    🙂

  32. Jennifer, pre internet days we did very much the same as we do now.

    1/. Pick up the phone and just ask for the person by title. If this is done with authority, it is rarely questioned. Stand up and sound a bit angry when you do it and you might be surprised how easy it is.

    If the caller sounds timid and uncertain, it arouses suspicion.

    2/. Ask for the wrong dept and when you get there, apologise and ask to be put through to the person you want. They generally just want to get rid of the call. (Number 4 on Lou’s list)

    And the absolute best way?
    3/. Referrals, referrals, referrals. And by this I don’t mean bribe candidates with job offers to get names which is of course completely different to an employee referral program. I mean talk to your own network of contacts.

    If we get a position anywhere in Europe, the first thing we do is contact the people we know that will know people. The quality will be infinately better this way anyway.

    Everyone wants to know a good ‘independent’ headhunter and we find that they are only too happy to help because next time the opportunity could be for them.

    It should be your PERSONAL network of contacts that makes your clients want to use you. It’s what differentiates you from the rest.

    Sourcers cannot use this because they cannot offer the candidates opportunities and Corporate Recruiters are certainly limited in using this because they can only talk about positions for their own company. So they have to use Ruses.

    About the subject of stealing candidates, it is still not the point of the article I don’t think because how can you steal candidates?

    Sounds like someone creeps up in a white van, blind folds the employees and bundles them off to another company to make them work there.

    That’s kidnap, not recruitment.

    No one owns the candidate so they cannot be stolen. Nobody makes anybody change jobs. We are merely taking the opportunity to them. If they are not interested, end of story. If they are interested then great but they are never stolen.

  33. Lou,
    You were mistaken, Microsoft VS Google is Not over, the trial is not until January, the Judge only lifted the Bar on Lee Recruiting ? only in China, and barred from working on products, services or projects he worked on at Microsoft, including computer search technology.

    Poaching definition has more than one meaning, seems we forget those, and use what makes us feel more comfortable. And as a legal term it is even utilized differently.

    By the way we don?t Steal employees, we provide better opportunities to help a person who does not have a legal restriction enhance their careers and lives,. Maybe if we remember that then we will focus on the true value on what we do for a living and we would let go of this war terminology, and focus of better ways to do our job. Maybe that is the problem w/o our industry today, we have forgotten what the true purpose, significance and Value of our job.

    We have made it so much more difficult (not saying it isn?t) than it really is. We have taken a profession that was considered of meaning, and tarnished it with words like war, stealing, guerrilla recruiting tactics.

    No there is no need for bribery to get someone who has no restraints to leave. No one needs to coerce individuals to look at a new opt. or to go to an interview. There is no reason for unethical Behavior, or treatment.

    Any good recruiter can provide excellent talent for a company w/o the intent to hurt or harm another company, w/o dishonesty, and w/o having to having to steal, bribe. An employee referral program is just like recruiting, it allows your employees to be able to be active in being aware at what is going on at the company, and to encourage them to let the managers be aware of friends who are not happy at their current positions.

    When did we lose focus on the people we serve, or provide assistance to Customer Service, Value Added Service, Respect, honesty, confidence and diligence are long forgotten, these are words of the past that many still implement on their WebPages, but then come here and discuss this baloney. Now I wonder who is being a hypocrite?

  34. Jennifer,
    One quick response to You and that is NETWORK.. it is amazing how much information one can achieve through networking honestly.

    Using job boards, Direct immediate recruiting the people you speak to is a waste of time and energy, and one does not get your name out there, we are unable to gain information that helps us do our job well, nor does it create a sense of trust.

    People want to know that you care, are not just about slamming a warm body in a ?hot? position, that you do have concern about their welfare, and that they do fit a company culture, not just the position. Get to know the people you speak to.

    When we remember we are dealing w/peoples lives we have the ability to have more empathy and everyone wants to see and hear that in your voice and actions.

    When I speak to everyone in my industry, I look at them as people that I can help one day, and as people who can help me today. Being upfront with that information is value added, and one gains more respect. They also have no problem referring you to friends because they respect your honesty, and confident that they will not be embarrassed by the referral.

    Networking can be done by speaking to anyone and everyone, and being seen in the right places. When did you last go to a Conference or convention in your industry? What about the local trade or union meetings? Have you ever thought about speaking at the universities, or schools? Everyone knows someone, they really do..

    Networking takes time, creates friendships and it sure gives you great opportunities to meet people that will want to help you along the way or that you can help either today or later.

    Again, there are great training articles on the net. Check them out.. They do have strong consistent advice.

  35. Deborah:
    I’m always struck by the sweeping generalities of many of the posts on ethics.
    Obviously, as you’ve indicated, there are different relationships formed at different times and the same strict ethical code that one may have with a client company does not quite apply with a company that is not a client and has erected barriers to keep inconvenient information (Ihave a better job for you) from it’s employees.
    I am not governed by that company’s policies.
    I have , in fits of repentance and guilt announced to assorted gatekeepers ‘I am calling to offer better jobs to your co-workers, at other companies’. I can truthfully say, it has never worked.
    stay as cogent as you are.

  36. Wow – I just received Sumner’s response and while I have always valued John’s input, I believe he is mischaracterizing the what Lou is stating. A recruiter’s job – whether you are an external 3rd party executive recruiter, recruiting sourcer, or corporate recruiter is to DELIVER to your Hiring Manager. Period!

    There are varying techniques of CI and Lou is simply pointing out what has worked for him. Every company has gatekeepers – and we as recruiters have to generate names, leads, and contacts. I have had a recruiter who uses his military experience to get past the gatekeepers for candidate sourcing. On the other hand, I have another recruiter who uses the same techniques that Lou does, but she uses the fact that she is a woman with an attractive voice and she gains new clients and referrals everyday.

    Employers have internal referral programs and career sites have external referral programs. It is naive to suggest that poaching and CI of other competitors’ employees is not a daily thing. Welcome to the free market! This is capitalism. The best candidates work for your competitors. Everyone – does not matter who you are – is open to an OPPORTUNITY. And recruiters have a responsibility to Hiring Managers to seek out and offer those opportunities to the employees of a company’s competitors. Call it rusing, call it dishonesty if you must, the simple fact is that being upfront about why you are calling to a gatekeeper yields zero results.
    It is now and has always been a candidates’ market in the good ole’ USA. I know that I could lose my CEO or CFO at any time – IF the right opportunity comes their way. And the CI that Lou advocates is exactly how it’s done in reaching them.

    The Internet does provide data mining, but it is still young. The online recruitment industry, unfortunately, is still dominated by ‘tonnage’ experts (recruitment ad agencies and newspapers) who try as they might, are NOT recruiters and therefore cannot attract passive candidates. So non-Internet CI, using techniques to get past the gatekeeper, is what recruiters do. Lou is 100% correct.

    Candidates are owned by no one. It is a highly competitive market to reach passive candidates and what Lou advocates is proven techniques that he is sharing. Just how does John suggest we reach passive candidates who have no resume on the market and when the recruiter has no employee phone book? I already know the answer – write better job descriptions, increase employee benefits, spend more $$ with recruitment ad agencies, and social networking sites. Guess what John, NONE of those get to the passive candidate. And Lou’s techniques work.

    Kudos to Lou for being honest and sharing.

  37. Wow, what did so many of you do prior to the internet, job boards and such like….

    There is an excellent article in the Fordyce Letter ‘where do you belong in the recruiting food chain.’ excellent piece and worth reading, author Doug Beabout.

    Great thing I remembered in my Snelling Training at corporate – Don’t lie, and there is no need to do so, always keep it clean.

    Yes, YOU CAN recruit and WELL and get to know your market w/o Job Boards, the internet, lying to the gatekeeper, rusing, spamming, or using
    company directories (which by the way is illegal to own, check the privacy information). This is in Recruiting Training 101 for goodness sake.

    There are many of us sanctimonious recruiters who are aware of the possible ways, why not give us a call.. Many of us are willing to share. We do practice what we preach?

    Re the aspect of business ethics being subjective, well if that is the case why is this such a hot topic? Why is it (lack of ethics) acknowledged as being a concern by the masses? Where is Enron today?
    As was well put earlier, we will argue subjective, objective or personal, ?generalities? so that we can justify, excuse and feel more comfortable doing something we recognize as socially irresponsible.

    I will repeat myself again ? People, lack of ethics and social responsibilities does create laws. If we cannot pull ourselves in, behave more judicial towards the General Public, and cannot come to terms as to what is Right or Wrong, then there will be others who will make that decision for us.
    IS that what WE REALLY WANT or is it What WE NEED to happen.

  38. Lou,

    Seems there is quite a lively debate on this issue and I confess I am happy to be a part of it.

    Clearly everyone makes their own distinctions and judgements as to what they, as an individual, consider an ‘ethical’ approach to recruiting.

    I do, however, want to address your comment on productivity. I view my role as being much more long-term focused rather then reactionary in nature. Meaning? My job is to network with the talent my clients are interested in attracting in advance of the actual role being available. I build the talent pipeline.

    Am I sometimes called upon to be reactive? Of course. And having built that pipeline, I know who to react with.

    It does take time, and patience, and relationship building. We never have enough of the first (no matter your methods), I have plenty of the second, and I love the third.

    So I am able to be productive, satisfy the needs of my clients, and still adhere to my personal standards of ethics (which are aligned with my emloyer’s or I would not be here).

    Todd

  39. Lou –

    In all due respect, RECRUITING IS what we do. Unless you are searching for Cross-over (the new name for Station Wagon) words with bad connotations. We recruit like the Army does, except, when a prospect cannot legally join on their own free will (as a minor), they need their parents’ permission. And, according to some recent charges, even the Army lies too (about not going to Iraq).

    Of course, with the many questionable activities (starting with lying), I guess stealing or poaching better fits the act. Or you could come up with a new word to join 1400 just added to the new dictionary:
    ‘Deceitful-purloinment’? ‘Searchful-deceit’? ‘Felony communication with priors’? ‘Entrapped Cross-over’?

    Jon

  40. Phew, its like watching a mangy dog that hasnt eaten in a long time…. it just wont let go.

    I cant believe we ( the greater ‘smaller’ ERE community) are still harping on about ‘Ethics Morals, Lies, Evild Doers, Terrorists and World Hunger’.

    Simple truth, if you want to get information as a recruiter you will tell an untruth, or circumvent the truth….PERIOD. I dont want to say…LIE as that will no doubt erupt in a plethora of postings on ethics morals and the inability of all recruiters to do their job.

    When a ‘gatekeeper’ asks you a direct question.. ‘why are you calling?’ do you give the honest answer ‘to talk to our employee about a potential job opportunity’.. I dont think so, then comes the untruth / circumvention.

    I think Deborah and Bill said it the best to a larger or lesser extent.

    Everything else is different shades of grey.

    Eamonn

  41. This topic is worthy of debate, yet we need to do it in an open forum, without rancor or personal attack. How else can people express their opposing views?

    Here?s another point of view on this whole topic that should be openly debated. I did not originate it, but it came from someone who was concerned about how their reputation could be affected.

    1. Many of the arguments against my point of view revolved around the idea that employees have free will and we as recruiters are legally permitted to offer them new opportunities. I openly and actively support this view. I also want to thank Karen and Heather for their eloquent, professional and insightful remarks. But what about all of the people whose names are not on the Internet or published in some public document? Don?t these people have the same rights to have recruiters call them? Shouldn?t 100% of the employees be allowed the same access to new opportunities rather than just the 20% or so of names that are listed or the 5% more gotten through referrals? Shouldn?t any means to get their names be openly supported to give every employee in the U.S. the same rights?

    This topic is worthy of debate. Now here?s a quick summary of the key points of my article which was about hypocrisy, not advocating the use of dishonest means to find candidates.

    2. I find it difficult to understand how recruiters on this forum can publicly malign people who use misleading name gathering tactics when they employ people to do this for them anyway. Companies purchase names that were developed this way, and they use TPRs who do this. This seems like hypocrisy to me.
    3. I?m not sure that using misleading techniques to gather names is any worse than other recruiting techniques company?s openly use. I believe bribery is an extremely dishonest if not illegal means to gather names. Yet corporations bribe their employees to give them names, but this is apparently okay if we call it an employee referral program. This seems like hypocrisy to me.
    4. The bigger non-crime in all of this is the aggressive poaching we recruiters are trained to do by targeting another company?s employees in order to lure them away. We all forget that this causes economic harm to the other employer which in some cases is very severe. So the morality of all this is ignored, because it?s legal and candidates can say no, etc. I support these aggressive recruiting tactics, so I am part of this community. Yet at the same time I?m disturbed by some of the very public and open warfare now going on between companies. Ignoring the morality here, yet getting worked up about using misleading information to obtain names seems like hypocrisy to me.

    Bringing this subject to the level of honest debate and to discuss the hypocrisy of it all was the point of my article. Let?s get more people involved. This topic needs to openly discussed without fear of being attacked, or else we?ll only hear one side of the issue. I wonder how many other good ideas are not being heard?

  42. So if I am hearing some people correctly we should be ‘just allowed’ to make rules up as we go..

    Lot’s of arguments/questions reduced to the ridiculous. How do YOU think an Average Sales Person who sells widgets gets past the gatekeeper. Maybe some people should consider taking a sales 101 class or consider a new career if they think lying is the only way to do this job.

    There IS a difference between Personal Values and Ethics – Ethics are based upon Societal Rules due to impact and Concern of Common good to the Public –
    Before there were societies, before there were religions, there were Ethics.(Aristotle)

    Ethics ranked high in the realm of human knowledge long before religion claimed ownership of moral authority. It is the Voice of Democracy.

    It’s what keeps us from killing each other, from hurting others’ feelings and from being detrimental to ourselves as a species.

    as per Ethics Resource Center http://www.ethics.org/ask_e4.html
    Defining what is ethical is not an individual exercise however. If it were then one could have argued that what Hitler did was ethical since his actions conformed to his definition of right, fair and good. The ethics of our decisions and actions is defined societal, not individually.

    We are dealing with Peoples Lives, and our actions can affect Businesses Profits, Personal Values don’t play a part in business. It don’t work.. We have seen that in History.

  43. Lou
    are you going say Next that sales incentive plans are bribery for sales people to perform and produce more sales. What you said was correct, it is an incentive to speak to friends and such like to let them Know hey there is an OPT over here, are you interested?

    Yes I think you are right, maybe it is time to stop utilizing the word War, and Guerilla tactics when we discuss what we do for a living.

    We are recruiters, we provide opportunities to improve the quality of life to people. People leave because they are not happy, and we are in the business to provide better opts to them, NOT just try to make a buck at the expense of others. Yes, there are issues doing the ?predatory recruiting? (by the way, 5 states Recently applied those words to their State Laws ? check Utah for EG) which also states – ‘unfair competition’ does not include the departure and hiring of an employee by a competitor

    Just because I don’t use Job Boards, through Networking I am able to find individuals who are also unemployed. My reach goes to the masses in my industry.

    The word Hypocrisy and ethics are being so misused to be able to justify behavior that is considered Socially Unacceptable. Please see my previous response.
    We and the courts acknowledge that recruiting is legal, thus not unacceptable, as long as it is done to find individuals for specific opts, ? thus we are not hypocrites in recruiting unlike your statements.

    What we object to is business fraud, lack of business ethics, lack of Responsible Business Behavior, because it Hurts The Credibility of this industry, it hurts other people, it hurts businesses. Especially when there is No NEED to lie. It is Possible to do this Job w/o those type of tactics.

    **To summarize then, the law regarding ‘predatory hiring’ or ‘raiding’ of employees requires a showing of an improper motive by the former employee to injure the business of the former. Also, the ‘means’ used to hire the employees away must be ‘improper.’
    (48 Hastings Law Journal 981, 989.)

  44. OhMyGosh!, Ginnie Bellville here, and I really had to digest some of this stuff before joining in the discussion. Here Lou writes one of the best, most excellent articles about how to uncover thee best possible PASSIVE prospects, candidates, and sources of information for any given ?job? (which is what I confidently pride myself as being able to do), and somebodies get ?scrambled? about his use of the word ?poaching.? How does the saying go?: ?A [word] by any other name would still? take on different, multiple definitions for different people?? depending on where they?re from, their mindset, etc.

    It?s like when somebody asks what I do and after explaining ?I find people already successful in what they do, then I call them directly to see if they?re open to a possible opportunity to do it better somewhere else,? (the people I find aren?t posting resumes on job boards, and don?t want their CVs circulated/routed around), and if the person says ?Ah-ha? You?re a HEADHUNTER!,? I like to reply (just to amuse myself) ?Hey, don?t call me that? I prefer the term BODYSNATCHER!? I always thought ?Competitive Intelligence? referred to companies wanting to have a database of their competition?s major players on hand for succession planning. So, what do I call my non-internet name-generating techniques? SELECTIVE TRUTH-TELLING. Not Lying? just saying the right thing to the right person at the right time in the right way (or asking the right question/s?)

    We researchers/name generators always wondered why the heck it would take the consultants so long to close a search. And, it was sooo frustrating to have spent hours (but not weeks, mind you) on the phone, finding the best people for them to talk with, only to have the research sitting on their desk unused day after day, because they first wanted to rely on their ?networking/referral-sourcing? techniques? I remember one hiring manager saying, ?Wow ? how did you get all these names?!? and, after joking that I just made them up, I told him that what I do is ?Smile and Dial; and say whatever it takes within reason, and within legal boundaries?? to get the information. I?m always hesitant to divulge exactly what I say, because what works for me may not work for you, AND what works for me in one instance certainly does not necessarily work in another.

    I am totally amazed at the ?cold call reluctance? so many have? So, just call it a warm or hot call, and PICK UP THE PHONE! I?m beginning to think some people are resentful about Lou?s article and picking apart his words because they really don?t have a clue how to go about conducting initial telephone research to find passive candidates? prospects, & sources. Or, somehow it intimidates them? and so, they don?t want to do it that way. Well, you know what? I was fortunate enough to attend a seminar last month on ?Source of Hire: Are You Employing the Best Channel to Find Top Talent?? Of course I enjoyed the opportunity to actually meet the speaker Gerry Crispin, SPHR, & Coauthor of CareerXroads, who provided some good, proven data/statistics about our business, one which really ?grabbed? my attention that I want to share with all of you: ?77.5% (of all high-end placements) are made through RESEARCH GENERATED LEADS?? NOT resume databases, NOT employee referrals or non-employee referrals, NOT your good ol? boy networking, etc. Is that awesome or what?? So ? deal with it! And, to Lou Adler (and,Gerry Crispin): You (both) Rock!; and, to Fellow ?Researchers/Sourcers?? rock on!

    ‘A good beginning is more than half the search. Let me help you leverage your time.’ gb, dba Belle Associates Inc.
    unbundled Executive Search/Recruiting Services

  45. Lou, in response to your points.

    2. It’s a misconception to assume that anyone using a TPR is automatically using a company that uses bad practices. Simply put, not all TPRs need to or do use dodgy practices. Please let’s not forget that the original article was about a Corporate Recruiter, not a TPR.

    3. If a company offers a bonus to their employees for a referral system, it is a positive action. It is not bribery because it is not compulsory. This is wholy different to bribing new employees with a job offer to get names of their colleagues. This is compulsory.

    4. As a TPR we target several companies for any one position. The purpose is to find suitable candidates for our Clients. This is very different to having the intent to deliberately harm the target company. Previous article writers have in fact actively suggested using this ‘harm your competition’ tactic as the primary focus. ‘Employ them whether you need them or not’ was the suggestion.

    Had your article been written pre Sullivan, I suspect the overall response would have been more positive. Because it is post Sullivan, it is getting negative comments that I suspect are really still aimed at the original. Your article has just got in the way.

  46. i propose this:

    ER Expo San Diego the ERE people host an Ethics Debate … keep it professional & invite only.

    thoughts?

  47. Jeremy,
    That is a great idea;
    Maybe we may also want to consider two Elected Moderators – one for the Pro’s and Con’s.

    Maybe one of the Association National or Chapter Ethics Committees could also be invited to inform/educate the recruiting committee of the Ethics that Are in place for this industry, that may also present more physical understanding, and reduce confusion regarding what is actually considered to be Personal versus Standard Ethics of our industry?

    This may be one of the most important things that we may have missed at the ERE Conventions. It is definitely addressed at the other (Our industry) Trade Conventions, and For ANY other Trade for that matter. (Not pointing fingers ERE). Ethics in any industry is frequently a focus at trade meetings and conventions.

    Maybe it is time we consider putting focus on this topic as well.

    Knowledge is key, so maybe this is where there is often a breakdown on communication.

  48. Jeremy, to achieve what exactly?

    If people don’t know what is ethical and what isn’t ethical by now, they never will. Maybe they should find a different profession.

    Hands up everyone who thinks it’s time to move on.

  49. I’m with Tony on this. We all know where we stand on the issue by now. Some people just can’t resist the urge to keep the debate going, but they keep using the same arguments (count me among those overly invested in the dialog, until recently…I’ve said what I wanted to say and now I am done). At this point, it’s gone beyond educating others and gotten off-track and over-the-top and a lot of it is about personalities. Can we all just give up the need to be ‘right’ (hard for me, but what can you do?) and deal with the fact that there are other people that don’t agree and probably never will?

    This is one of the challenges with this medium…it’s hard to relize that you don’t need to repeat the same arguments over…they live in perpetuity where you posted them. The re-hashing starts to get a bit much. Anyone else feel this way?

    I’m looking forward to some new topics to discuss!

  50. Anthony and Heather your points were good, but is it possible that people are just not aware?

    In speaking to several individuals off and online, one thing that has come up is that there is a lack of awarenes, education and knowledge.

    There are several of us who have received appreciation from others because they had been taught a specific method and had not felt comfortable with it, and now they are aware that others feel the same, and are greatful to learn about other options.

    I wonder, is it really that far of a stretch? This topic has been a strong topic for many. We have heard strong opinons from both sides. So maybe this is a time to keep it going and see where it goes?

    I Personally think (yes my opinion) that it is too important of a subject to just let it go; There is too many people involved that it affects. Any thoughts???

  51. Okay,let’s get this straight because I guess I missed something.It’s not ethical to recruit an employed person because that may ‘harm the current employer’,is that what you have been saying? I realize that you stated that you are ethical and upright,an upright ,do-right recruiter who is willing to sacrifice your time to teach others how to be ethical and moral by ‘recruiting’ the unemployed.You stated that Snelling trained you.It is my experience that the first thing Snellings training says is…Don’t waste your time with the unemployed because the client can hire the unemployed person by going to the state unemployment office.Also,in checking the references that were cited some time ago by you about the sad state of recruiting and the many lawsuits that were ongoing ,I got sites that told how to avoid being ripped off and how to avoid having to pay too much when you go through a recruiter to find employment.Doesn’t apply to someone who uses employer fee based system.I said it before and I will say it again..IF you don’t like calling clients,if you don’t like recruiting,if you don’t care for true recruiting ,then don’t do it.Whatever works for you is cool and I know you’ll be blessed for the goodness in your heart and the social work that you do in helping the unemployed.Just don’t try to whiz on my leg and tell me it’s raining because I won’t believe it.I’ve been around for a few years and I have met very very very few recruiters who were unethical,immoral,or practiced illegally.Those that can’t operate above board don’t make it.A ruse to get by the gatekeeper?Big deal,Snelling trained you about that didn’t they?A job that doesn’t exist?Recruiters don’t have time to waste on jobs that don’t exist.Putting on a badge to infiltrate a competitors function?Naughty,naughty, and over the line,a little too much for most of us.Recruiting the unemployed?My clients aren’t going to pay me for sending a person who isn’t good enough to stay employed or aggressive enough to pursue their own employment should they become unemployed.The state can send those guys for free and get them off the unemployment rolls.BUT as I said,you will be blessed for doing what you do.Best of luck in your endeavors but please don’t tell me that the methods that many of us utilize are illegal,immoral or unethical until you can state unequivocally that we are liars,cheats,and scoundrels.

  52. Question to my corp staffing friends: How many employers write agency contracts soley for defensive reasons? Do employers count on the no-poaching provisions of a contingency contract while not hiring (intentionally??) agency candidates?
    Agreed, there are hiring managers that genuinely WANT all the help they can get to fill open jobs. That’s my focus! I make sure those clients get all the help they need and we fill their jobs. But there are those hiring managers, CFO’s & CEO’s, who might, justifiably, expect some protection (‘increased staff retention’) for all the $’s they spend on a corp recruiter or staffing dept.
    I’ve got 15 years in corp staffing and the past yr in a contingency firm. I’ve had good success and lots of placements, but there are those clients that get great candidates, who fit their job spec (yes, my subjective eval), and never find them suitable; –won’t even phone screen, –for no obligation, yada, yada. Two big corp, I know you know, have received over 15 top tier candidates for jobs they asked me to fill. They have yet to do so much as a phone screen. I was thinking about gently approaching the subject with them, but fear for their reaction to my suggestion of nefarious intent. I was also thinking about waiting for contract expiration and then recruiting the heart out of their staff. (Would that get any attention?) I could just reject rejection. Now I’m thinking this opportunity for professional input is even more useful. Insights appreciated.

    Thanks,

  53. If you’ve presented that many candidates and they won’t interview, it’s not a search you should be working on, it’s a waste of time.
    The urgency required to make this placement isn’t there.

    As for that contract, is it an existing client or is this the first time you’ve ever worked with them.

    If it’s the first time, you made a mistake with your contract. My fee agreements always have the clause (paraphrased) that I will not recruit out of their company for one year AFTER their last hire from me.

    So, signing a contract to keep me from sourcing their company (which I consider a lie and unethical) won’t work. They have to hire from me first. If they turn that clause down, it’s a sure sign they aren’t interested in really hiring.

  54. Hopefully I will get the opportunity to defend myself..

    About a year ago, (gee, no actually it has only been a couple of months) I initially presented a post expressing a concern for what I thought as irresponsible advice due to lack of information.

    I had not discussed ethics or morals, only presented suggestions as to hopefully avoid unforessen problems that could possibly occur.

    THEN, I did not disagree with the value of Aggressive Corporate or TPR Recruiting, nor cold calling and I still don’t today..

    Anyways this is what was actually said (tweaked a little) –
    ‘1. Be aware of your Associations and Industry Laws – Some association do have extremely strict federal governing laws that can wreck havoc ie financial, real estate, insurance.. – one does NOT want the feds involved. (some of these laws are based upon privacy ie financial institutions, that can affect the recruiting process) Watch out for conflict of interest.
    2. If the Union affects your industry also be aware of the STATE laws affecting recruiting, MOST states have very similar laws noted in my last post.
    3. Know the Unfair Competition laws of your STATE or the state you are recruiting from, since that could be a hassle, try relying on common sense.
    4. ASK questions – Do you have a non compete, are you on a contract, non disclosure, or an anti raiding provision in your clause. Be aware of all Restrictive Covenants. You DO not want to be held liable for helping that individual breaking that contract. ‘Even though the employee has a right to work, they have a legal binding contract that a third party intentionally helped break and the possessor of a contract or other property right is entitled to pursue a claim against an intermeddler who adversely affects those property rights’
    5. Do not at any time Launch a campaign to RAID, POACH or act in a Way that may be considered Predatory – that is setting up red flags which now helps give your competitor a legal fighting chance in court. This ups his proof against you at your perceived intent. Be selective, be smart, raiding a whole department at ONE time, not smart. Recruit from more than one company over a period of time is probably smarter… Hiring an individual just to take him away from a competitor not smart, Hiring individuals to impede a business Really not smart. (Employee poaching law are also in effect in CA, Europe and England – common law maybe?)
    6. DO Not go after a company when they are hurting to ‘put them out of their misery’ Montgomery Ward V Sears The court ruled that one company may not hire away employees of another company with the intent of crippling that company. SAP V Siebel(settled out of court) (The government likes competition in business – it means more money for the economy and taxes for them… LOL)
    7. Stay honest and legal in your postings and interview, (this is also where the government agencies and EEOC, even private individuals can come after you..YES they have been known individuals respond to these posts and interview to test companies. see Molovinsky v. Fair Employment Council of Greater Washington)
    8. Be careful how you discuss your competitor at ALL Times.. It does get back..
    9. Anyways, it really does boil down to commonsense; there are many things we all need to look out for regarding recruiting. Knowing your information does and will protect you. Joining a group like SHRM or NAPS also keeps you up to date on the new legal changes.. They can happen quickly
    10. Definitely Talk to your EMPLOYMENT lawyer (be honest about ALL your intended actions, or current). Read your Employer handbook.. Corporate and Business Lawyers are not always up to date to the New Legal Bills Pending or Passed’

    PLEASE bear with me as I add this personal side note- YES I do recruit, cold call, the works..
    But I don’t lie; Everyday, I try implement and follow professional and responsible business standards which can still allow me to be a valuable resource to my clients and candidates.

    Why? Because it is of MY personal opinion that lying and certain recruiting behaviors can hurt others, and also has the possibility to cause unnecessary harm to companies. Harm which can be avoided, especially if it was done so with intent.

    So I apologize if my personal opinions offend some and thanks very much for the support from those I have not.

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